What Happens When a Woman Wins a Close Election? Evidence from Brazil
Universidad de Alicante
Harvard University - Department of Economics
December 31, 2012
This paper studies the effect of women's leadership on policy outcomes in close races utilizing a rich dataset on Brazilian municipalities. We provide evidence that cities with female mayors have better health outcomes (prenatal visits and percentage of premature births), are awarded more federal discretionary transfers, and are less likely to have administrative irregularities in public procurement practices. Despite these results, male mayors are 20 percentage points more likely to be re-elected than female mayors. We discuss several interpretations of our results, including the role of political patronage and re-election incentives. We find that men are more likely to hire temporary public employees in the year before the next election compared to their female counterparts. This effect is driven by incumbents who are eligible for reelection.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: gender, politics, health, corruption, patronage
JEL Classification: J16, P16, D72 , I00, I18working papers series
Date posted: February 6, 2012 ; Last revised: December 31, 2012
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